People gather to take pictures of fireworks during the lighting of a Christmas tree at Martyrs' Square in Beirut, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Declaring that Lebanon enjoyed security and political stability amid conflicts and turmoil in the volatile region, Prime Minister Saad Hariri called Thursday on Lebanese and foreign businessmen to invest in the country, saying now was the best time for investment.Hariri also said that Lebanon's relations with Arab Gulf countries were good, denying that some Gulf states were in the process of taking measures against Lebanon in response to Hezbollah's growing role in the country and its involvement in the 6-year-old war in Syria and other regional conflicts.prime minister stressed that the endorsement of the 2017 state budget for the first time in 12 years was one of the most important achievements of the government.Hariri sought to reassure the audience that Lebanon's relations with Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf states are "very good," strongly denying that some Gulf states would take any punitive measures against Lebanon because of Hezbollah's role in the region. The prime minister noted that the international community stood with Lebanon and Saudi Arabia supported Lebanon's stability.Following the withdrawal of the Syrian army from Lebanon in 2005, ending nearly three decades of Syria's domination of the country, Hariri said the Future Movement and its allies tried to rule the country alone and the other side, Hezbollah and its March 8 allies, tried to rule by themselves, but neither this nor that worked out.
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